A major karst region is located in the west of Ireland in an area comprising the Burren and Gort Lowlands. The geology of this area is dominated by Carboniferous limestones which have experienced extensive dissolution resulting in an underground network of karstified conduits and fissures that define the groundwater flow across the region. In addition, the groundwater discharge to the sea in this area is exclusively intertidal and submarine. Typical winter rainfall conditions result in the karst system becoming saturated. The gradient of groundwater flow is low resulting in temporary lakes (turloughs) in the area acting as large reservoirs which provide storage to enable the transmission of the large volumes of water in the system to the sea.


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